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Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Village OKs agreement with state for canal path

Handicapped accessible trail's cost estimated at $819,200

By Margie Wuebker
NEW BREMEN - The Miami and Erie Shared Use Path came one step closer to reality Tuesday night when village council members approved an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Preliminary estimates peg the cost of the handicapped accessible path at $819,200 with $597,700 coming from an ODOT enhancement grant. New Bremen officials have applied for $249,815 from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund to cover required local funding. The design phase continues through fall with right-of-way acquisition starting this summer.
Village administrator Wayne York said the project moves to the bidding phase in spring 2014.
Previous ODOT grants resulted in the restoration of Lock Two, construction of the lockkeeper's house, which serves as a visitor's center, and the upgrade of an 8-foot wide graveled path to the south corporation limit.
The new, 10-foot wide path will be paved from state Route 66 near the ABC Center northward to Lock Two Road, once the site of a wooden canal lock and an unincorporated village. Additionally, 2-foot turf shoulders will be installed along the 1.1 mile length.
Given the narrowness of available canal lands, York said additional right-of-way will be needed from the village, Crown Equipment Corporation and the New Bremen Foundation. All three entities have agreed to donate land so the proposed path can be improved for public use and maintained by the village.
Council held a 34-minute executive session to discuss a trio of personnel-related issues. Upon return to regular session, the board accepted the retirement of Larry Wissman after more than 30 years of service.
Wissman served as public works superintendent for most of those years. He later requested retirement and rehiring to a non-supervisory position in the department.
York said the vacancy will be posted. He hopes applicants will have experience in concrete finishing along with other requirements.
In other personnel-related matters, it was decided to reclassify the original seasonal parks foreman post to a seasonal public works/parks position. The pay rate was set at $12 per hour to start with 25-cent hourly increases for each successive year.
Council members also,
• announced work on the Circle Drive sanitary sewer project should start the latter part of June with the work to be done by Saintignon Excavating of Celina.
• gave third and final reading to legislation dealing with an ODOT agreement to patch a bridge and underpass along state Route 66 in the vicinity of the Auglaize-Mercer County YMCA and a new contract with New Bremen Emergency Medical Services. The village serves as a pass-through agency for EMS levy funds with three payments of $25,000 per year.
• increased standby pay for electric department employees year-round and public works employees during the winter from $100 to $154 per week. York said the $100 week rate had been in effect for nearly 12 years. Employees take turns being on standby and the rotation plan will continue in times of emergency situations.
• reminded residents of the Flame Walk for Epilepsy on Saturday. The 5K run/walk begins at 4:30 p.m. with festivities following at 6 p.m. at Crown Pavilion. Proceeds are earmarked for the purchase of a seizure dog for 2-year-old Oliver Dietzman. The local boy has a rare form of epilepsy that causes up to 100 seizures per day.
• hired Shawn Harrod and Douglas Ranly as part-time police officers on the recommendation of police chief Mike Skinner. They will be paid $10.78 per hour as needed effective May 20.
• took no action on an alley vacation request along the Eastmoor Court cul-de-sac. There had been concern that a home up for sale is in the alley right of way. However, it was determined there is no problem. York said the village would be willing to resolve the ongoing problem as long as it maintains easement for water and sewer lines.
Additional online stories on this date
LIMA - Celina's softball team opened the season with the lofty goal of winning the Division II state championship.
That goal was squashed on Wednesday night when Wapakoneta overcame a 7-0 deficit to knock off Celina 11-8 in the D-II sectional final at Bath High School. [More]
ST. HENRY - They waited all game to do it, but the Marion Local softball team proved an old baseball adage to be true during Wednesday night's Division IV sectional final: Chicks dig the long ball. [More]
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